All right, time for everyone to take their ushankas, go to the Red Square and start calling each other with the word “comrade” as we are gonna talk about a Soviet hit game, Те́трис.
History of Tetris
Tetris originates from the east-side of the Iron Curtain in 1984, a 28-year-old Alexey Pajitnov along with his colleagues at the Moscow Computer center created a game for the Russian computer Elektronika 60 called Те́трис (screenshot below). Soon after, Alexey and his colleagues Dmitry Pavlovsky and Vadim Gerasimov made a version of the game for the IBM PC and after the port the game became very popular in Moscow. The IBM PC version was the first one to be discovered outside of USSR as a British computer software company Andromeda discovered it in Budapest, Hungry. Tetris also saw the light of day in the US when a Sectrum Holobyte version of the IBM PC version was released there in 1987.
One of the most well known Tetris ports is the Gameboy version that was bundled with every copy of the handheld. In 1988 a Dutch game publisher named Henk Rogers made a deal with Nintendo to get this game into their new handheld. And a year later Rogers was in Moscow to meet Alexey. At first it seemed that the game’s rights were not going outside of USSR as USSR was the holder of the intellectual property but sure enough they were able to get Tetris rights for Nintendo and the legendary version of the game was born.
In 1991 Alexey moved into the US and in 1996 he and Rogers made up an company called “The Tetris Company” that became responsible for setting the standards that every Tetris game has to follow to it to be classified as real Tetris.
We all know what Tetris is right? You clear lines by filling an row with bl0cks with no gaps between. Easy. Fun. But as with every game, there is some depth to it. For instance, what about tetrises, t-spins, combos and whatnot. Well to talk about Tetris we need to think about how many lines we can clear at once. You can clear one line (often called single clean), two lines (often called double), three lines (often called triple) and you can clean 4 lines with a line piece (also called Tetris).
But then what is this “t-spin” I mentioned. Well, t-spins are so called “twist moves” where you get an piece into a slot that you wouldn’t be able to insert it conventionally. T-Spins can result into certain things. T-Spin by itself isn’t that useful but when you make a t-spin and clear a single line with it, t-spins suddenly become quite useful, especially on battle modes where you want to send as many garbage lines as possible. T-Spin single sends two lines of garbage to the enemy, t-spin doubles send four and t-spin triples send 6 lines.
Combos are self-explanatory. The more lines you clear, the more points you get and you can also send garbage blocks with singles using combos while without a combo you can only send garbage with doubles, triples, tetrises and t-spin clears.
I love Tetris, it has been one of my most loved games of all time and I have probably spent more time on it than I want to admit. It is great for the brain and makes pattern matching easier. Also it is sometimes fun to enjoy some Tetris Battles on tetris friends.
All in all, a great game overall. And I do not regret any moment of playing it.